Life a night­mare, We­in­stein tells friends

The Dominion Post - - World -

Har­vey We­in­stein has sent an email to friends claim­ing his life has be­come a ‘‘night­mare’’ and at­tack­ing the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his al­leged sex crimes in what ap­peared to be a cam­paign to res­cue his im­age.

The for­mer film mogul ac­cused de­tec­tives of treat­ing him un­fairly, and in­cluded with his message links to sym­pa­thetic news­pa­per ar­ti­cles.

We­in­stein’s email was swiftly for­warded around Hol­ly­wood and caused out­rage among his ac­cusers. They sug­gested he was try­ing to start a me­dia cam­paign to dis­credit the al­le­ga­tions against him, and to ap­peal for sym­pa­thy.

In the email, We­in­stein wrote: ‘‘I’ve had one hell of a year . . . the worst night­mare of my life. As you can see from these ar­ti­cles, the po­lice have played a very dif­fi­cult role in my in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘‘All three po­lice of­fi­cers have ei­ther been re­tired, or repo­si­tioned from the SVU [Spe­cial Vic­tims Unit]. The ar­ti­cles are self­ex­plana­tory, but I’d like to speak to you on the phone if you have some time. There is more to this story . . . I ap­pre­ci­ate your con­fi­den­tial­ity.’’

We­in­stein added: ‘‘Have a read of these ar­ti­cles. I wish I didn’t have to ask, but I’d be very ap­pre­cia­tive of your time.’’ He sent the message on Mon­day from his per­sonal email ac­count, sign­ing it ‘‘Best, Har­vey.’’

It was later pub­lished by TMZ, the celebrity news web­site. We­in­stein has kept a low pub­lic pro­file since the first ac­cu­sa­tions were made against him in Oc­to­ber 2017. Since then, more than 80 women have made ac­cu­sa­tions rang­ing from in­ap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing to rape.

He is await­ing trial in New York on five charges, in­clud­ing rape, re­lat­ing to two al­leged vic­tims, and is next due in court on De­cem­ber 20. We­in­stein has de­nied all al­le­ga­tions of non-con­sen­sual sex, and his lawyers have urged a judge to dis­miss the case.

Kather­ine Ken­dall, who was one of the first women to ac­cuse him pub­licly, said: ‘‘He knows how to run a mar­ket­ing cam­paign, that’s for sure. I know there are peo­ple who are afraid that he’s been plan­ning his come­back for a while. There are so many peo­ple who see him as a master ma­nip­u­la­tor, that noth­ing will sur­prise them.’’

We­in­stein’s lawyers said they had been un­aware of his plans to send the email, that it was sent only to close Hol­ly­wood friends, and was not part of any le­gal strat­egy.

In Oc­to­ber, pros­e­cu­tors dropped a sixth charge, re­lat­ing to a third al­leged vic­tim, af­ter it emerged a de­tec­tive had asked a wit­ness not to come for­ward with ev­i­dence that could have cast doubt on the al­le­ga­tion. We­in­stein has pre­vi­ously been granted US$1 mil­lion (NZ$1.45m) bail, forced to sur­ren­der his pass­port, and to wear an elec­tronic tag.

– Tele­graph Group

‘I’ve had one hell of a year . . . the worst night­mare of my life. As you can see from these ar­ti­cles, the po­lice have played a very dif­fi­cult role in my in­ves­ti­ga­tion.’’ Har­vey We­in­stein

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